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Allocation of Federal Transit Assistance funding under CARES Act approved by Commonwealth Transportation Board

On April 21, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) held an emergency meeting to allocate federal funding for transit programs from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under the CARES Act, the Federal Transit Administration is allocating $25 billion in support of public transit to recipients of urbanized area and rural area formula funds nationwide. These funds are meant to offset significant declines in transit revenues brought on by reduced ridership as well as sustain vital mobility functions related to COVID-19 response. 

According to the COVID-19 Unified Command Joint Information Center’s guidance, public transportation is an essential element of critical infrastructure and necessary to support required trips to work and healthcare for those that must travel during this unprecedented time. Of the $25 billion in federal funding, $22.7 billion is allocated to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion is allocated to rural areas. Funding will be provided at a 100-percent federal share, with no local match required, and will be available to support capital, operating, and other expenses generally eligible under those programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Small urban agencies can apply directly to the FTA for their share of funding.

Virginia’s share of this funding amounts to $47,205,359 through the Section 5307 Urbanized area formula (small urban apportionment) allocated via the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) to eligible transit agencies, $51,377,174 through the Section 5311 Rural formula allocated via the DRPT for sub-allocation to eligible transit agencies; and, $1,150,000 through the Appalachian Development Public Transportation Assistance Program (ADTAP) formula allocated via the DRPT for sub-allocation to eligible transit agencies. The CTB met to allocate these funds to eligible transit agencies throughout the Commonwealth via the Six-Year Plan. Virginia’s large urban transit agencies were apportioned $356,666,536 directly from the Federal Transit Administration and no CTB action was required in order for these agencies to receive the CARES Act funding.

Distribution of funding to Small Urban and Rural Systems is as follows:

Attachment A – Section 5307 CARES Allocation (Small Urban)

Direct Recipient FY 2020 Section 5307
 Funding Allocated
City of Bristol, Virginia $847,465
District Three Governmental Cooperative $380,746
City of Charlottesville $7,143,582
City of Fredericksburg $7.559,293
Williamsburg Area Transit Authority $5,175,497
Greater Lynchburg Transit Company $7,630,020
Town of Blacksburg $6,122,038
City of Radford $1,627,377
City of Harrisonburg $5,445,336
Central Shenandoah PDC $2,272,563
City of Winchester $3,001,442
Total $47,205,359

Attachment B – Section 5311 CARES Act Allocation (Rural Systems)
50% of CARES Act | 5311 Funding | $25,688,587

# District Recipient CARES Act
(Initial Distribution)
1 Bristol AASC / Four County Transit $1,668,406
2 Bristol District Three Governmental Cooperative $1,841,713
3 Bristol Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. $1,653,015
4 Bristol Town of Bluefield-Graham Transit $299,433
5 Culpeper Greene County Transit, Inc. $1,125,571
6 Hampton Roads Greensville County $147,370
7 Hampton Roads STAR Transit $952,591
8 Hampton Roads Town of Chincoteague $78,700
9 Hampton Roads Williamsburg Area Transit Authority $601,613
10 Lynchburg Danville Transit System $2,299,878
11 Lynchburg Farmville Area Bus $689,227
12 Lynchburg Town of Altavista $95,311
13 Salem Greater Roanoke Transit Company $1,147,283
14 Salem Pulaski Area Transit $545,761
15 Staunton Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission $483,127
16 Multi-District Bay Aging $2,855,435
17 Multi-District Town Of Blackstone/ Blackstone Area Bus System $416,049
18 Multi-District Lake Country Area Agency on Aging $147,786
19 Multi-District JAUNT, Inc. $3,761,995
20 Multi-District RADAR UHSTS $1,214,775
21 Multi-District Virginia Regional Transit $3,663,548


This action follows a March 17 meeting of the CTB, in which they received updates on the impact to transportation caused by COVID-19 from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) staff. At the March meeting, CTB authorized $11 million in state transportation funding for local transit agencies to offset the costs associated with mitigating and responding the impact of COVID-19. This funding amount is equivalent to one month of statewide operating revenues and comes from the Making Efficient + Responsible Investments in Transit (MERIT) management program. A chart from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) detailing how these funds will be disbursed can be found here. 

Minutes and audio of the CTB’s April meeting can be found here and here respectively. Additional information from VDOT and DRPT on their response to COVID-19 can be found here and here respectively.  

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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